Posts Tagged ‘The Darkest Hour’

The Darkest Hour is a Russian-American 2011 science fiction thriller film directed by Chris Gorak and produced by Timur Bekmambetov. The American-based production depicts an alien invasion and stars Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella, Olivia Thirlby, Joel Kinnaman, Rachael Taylor and Veronika Ozerova as a group of people caught in the invasion. The film was released on December 25, 2011 in the United States.

Ben and Sean, two young American men, travel to Moscow to sell their social networking/party locating software. They find their Swedish business partner, Skyler, has already made a deal with the Russians, using a knockoff version of the application. They then go to a local nightclub and meet Natalie, an attractive American woman, and her Australian friend Anne. They then go outside to witness what appears to be an Aurora Borealis. But some of the light suddenly separates and falls from the sky, landing all over Moscow. The lights then abruptly disappears, and when a police officer approaches it, the light disintegrates him and begins doing the same to anyone who comes near where the lights are. The lights, aliens protected by almost invisible force fields, then start hunting and killing everyone sending everyone into a complete panic.

Ben, Sean, Natalie, Anne and Skyler end up hiding in the club’s storeroom for several days. When they finally venture out, they find the city seemingly lifeless with everyone gone. They also discover that light bulbs and other electrical devices begin working when an invisible alien is nearby, creating a primitive early warning system for them.

The group makes its way to the American Embassy, which has been gutted. There they learn through a logbook that the invasion is worldwide. They take shelter in a building to get a better look onto the city and to find out where to go next, but Skyler refuses to do so and runs off. Above at the top of the building, they see an alien about to approach Skyler. Sean and Ben decide to try to save him, but are too late and he is killed. When the others go outside they see a light in a nearby tower and go to investigate. They also bring a working radio they’ve found at the embassy, which repeats a message in Russian. In the building they find a young woman named Vika and Sergai, an electrical engineer. He made the apartment into a giant Faraday cage that hides everyone inside from the aliens. He also developed a microwave gun that weakens the aliens’ force fields buying time to actually kill it. Vika and Sergai translate the message; which announces a nuclear submarine is waiting in the Moscow River to take survivors to safety.

As Sergai shows the boys the microwave device, Vika, Natalie and Anne go to other apartments to gather supplies for the submarine journey. An alien senses the women outside the Faraday cage and chases them, but Anne is hesitant to follow Vika when she tells them to follow her to safety and chooses to go another way sending Natalie along with her back inside. When they run to the apartment Natalie is unable to lock the door and the alien comes inside the apartment. Sergai shoots the alien with the microwave gun and finds that it only stuns them. The alien kills Sergai when the gun’s batteries run down. The others get out by the fire escape, but Anne hesitates to follow them and as a result is killed, horrifying Natalie. Natalie then sets the apartment on fire as they climb down to ground level where they meet up with Vika.

They meet up with Russian police who managed to wound an alien with conventional weapons, and Sean collects a piece of it. They were also able to construct another Faraday cage at the local library. The team eventually agree to help the remaining four to get to the submarine. The policemen believe that the aliens are strip mining Earth for conductive metals since giant light columns can be seen drilling all over Moscow.

While making their way through the subway an alien discovers them and they try to escape on the tracks. Vika becomes trapped behind a pillar, unable to join the others without being seen. Ben races over and helps her climb down to the tracks, but because of his effort to save her, he is captured and disintegrated as a helpless Sean is forced to watch his best friend die.

The survivors make it to a boat on the river, planning to travel downstream to the waiting submarine. Before they can reach it though, a new alien light beam destroys a building right next to the river, causing the boat to capsize and throw them all into the water. Finally swimming to the submarine Sean discovers Natalie is missing from the group. They then witness a flare fired from Natalie’s flare gun and Sean is determined to get her despite possibly missing his chance to escape the city. The police team agrees to go with him to rescue her after they build a second microwave gun. Sean eventually finds her hiding on a bus as the police team destroy four of the creatures using newly learned techniques and the microwave guns. However as Sean is about to get off the bus with Natalie, an alien gets onto the bus and locks the door and sends the bus speeding randomly around the city and almost manages to kill Natalie after pulling her towards it. Sean manages to kill the alien after destroying its shield with his microwave gun by discovering their hidden weakness – hurling the piece of wounded alien he collected earlier into the unshielded alien kills it instantly. The two barely manage to stop the bus where the others are, barely preventing a collision.

After returning to the submarine, the police team decides to stay and fight the aliens for their city. Sean, Natalie and Vika plan to spread what they learned about fighting the aliens – the microwave guns and their weakness to remnants of dead aliens – to other survivors and it implied that Sean and Natalie have become a couple after nearly sharing a kiss on the submarine. Later they learn that fighters in Paris managed to destroy an alien mining tower and the film ends on a hopeful note.